You have to hand it Robert Godin. He’s come up with quite a few cool ideas over the years. (Although I’m still waiting for better bass models, the A4 is still one of my faves.)
While doing clinics in Europe, Godin was asked if he could make and Oud. At first he declined believing the market was limited. Fast forward a couple of years and Godin has two instruments based o the Oud in their product line. The first is the MultiOud. The second is the A11 Glissentar. This is essentially a fretless electric nylon string guitar with 11-strings, tuned E-A-D-G-B-E. Just a like a guitar. The string pairs are in unison and the low E is a single string. The low E is a single string because in middle eastern music it’s common to change the tuning of the low string on the file. Actually I’ve seen banjo players do that too.
Anyway, this is just another cool instrument from Godin. Hoping to find one in my local music store sometime.
“A11 – Glissentar – In a nutshell, it’s an eleven string, fretless, acoustic/electric instrument, strung with nylon strings and tuned to standard guitar tuning. More than ever before, musicians are mixing sounds and musical styles from all over the world. This often involves the mixing of Eastern and Western music, such as using a Sitar in a western musical setting or using western instruments to imitate the sounds in eastern music. The Glissentar was inspired by a similar desire to mix elements of East and West, but in this case, in the instrument itself. The Western part of the equation is easy to recognize as a variation on the guitar. All of the instruments basic dimensions, scale length, body size, depth, fingerboard radius, and string height, are fairly standard for acoustic/electric guitars. The Eastern influence in the Glissentar comes from the Oud, an ancestor of the Mandolin that dates back to the seventh century. The Oud is also an eleven-string fretless instrument and is still in use today primarily in Armenia and Egypt. Adapting to this new instrument is actually a great deal easier than it appears. The shape and scale of the neck and the easily visible side position markers help to give the Glissentar a very familiar feel. The Glissentar opens the door to microtonal playing as well as some incredible and unique new sounds for adventurous guitar players.“
Specs: Rock Maple neck, Ebony Fingerboard, 16″ fingerboard radius, 25 1/2″ Scale, 1 3/4″ nut width, Two-Chamber Silver Leaf Maple body, Solid Cedar Top, Godin Custom under-saddle Transducer & custom preamp, Volume, Mid, Treble and Bass controls, Natural Semi-Gloss finish